VIDEO: The Art of Food & Wine in Sancerre

SANCERRE, FRANCE – A region and a town along the banks of the Loire River –about a two-hour drive from Paris – Sancerre is noted for its wine, specifically its crisp and mineral Sauvignon Blanc as well as its goat cheese.

    The town of Sancerre itself is a picturesque medieval village perched roughly 1,000 feet above the surrounding valley. Its quaint and narrow streets are home to many ancient houses and roughly 1,700 inhabitants.

    During the Middle Ages, the village had one of the strongest castles of France and was a strategic fortress during the Hundred Years War. La Tour des Fiefs is the last vestige of the feudal château. Also still standing is the Church of Notre-Dame de Sancerre whose construction was initiated by a local priest in 1652. It was not completed until 1777, more than 100 years later.

    The winemakers of the region — who number more than 300 — bought a 14th century house in 1996. After extensive renovation, it was opened in 2005 as the Maison des Sancerre to showcase the region’s wine. The terroir is responsible for the particular aroma and flavor of the region’s wine, which has been produced in the area since the 11th century.

    Food is also a star in Sancerre. Baptiste Fournier is the head chef at the town’s one Michelin star restaurant, La tour, in the town square. Fournier, whose cooking style is simple, yet creative and sophisticated, says fresh, local ingredients and produce, which he likes to prepare in healthy, but flavorful ways, inspire his cuisine.

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